By Loving Forces

By Loving Forces

By Loving ForcesOne of my favorite hymns is the one made from the poem “By Loving Forces” written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in prison. He sent it to his family for Christmas to bring hope and assurance. And this hymn still does it every time. So if you’re in dire need of encouragement in the midst of hardships, this song is for you.

I’ve always loved the Finnish hymn made from the poem. Today, I fell in love with the newer German version sang here by its composer Siegfried Fietz. There’s something to this song and performance that touches a chord within me. I hope you will enjoy it too. Here are the lyrics in English by Hilmar H. Werner:

By loving forces…

By loving forces silently surrounded,
I feel quite soothed, secure, and filled with grace.
So I would like to live these days together,
and go with you into another year.

Still matters of the past are pressing our hearts
and evil days are weighing down on us.
Oh Lord, to our souls, so scared and sore,
give rescue, as it’s that you made us for.

And when you pass to us the bitter chalice
of suffering, filled to the brim and more,
we take it, full of thanks and trembling not,
from this, your caring and beloved hand.

But if you want to please us, over and again,
with our shining sun and wondrous world,
let us muse on what is past, and then we shall,
with our lives, in all belong to you.

Warm and bright be our candles’ flame today,
since into gloom you brought a gleaming light,
and lead again us, if you will, together!
We know it: you are beaming in the night.

When silence now will snow around us ev’rywhere,
so let us hear the all-embracing sound
of greater things than we can see and wider,
your world, and all your children’s soaring hail.

By loving forces wonderfully sheltered,
we are awaiting fearlessly what comes.
God is with us at dusk and in the morning
and most assuredly on ev’ry day.

God is with us no matter what happens around us or to us. God is with us at dusk and in the morning. Plain and simple: God is with us. Nothing will ever change that. This gives us hope even when things look nothing but hopeless. Because even then – or especially then? – the loving forces surround us with God’s powerful grace. Because the Son is shining brightest in the darkness. Because Christ will see us through thick and thin, all the way to home.

I hope, Lord.
My whole being hopes,
    and I wait for God’s promise.
My whole being waits for my Lord—
    more than the night watch waits for morning;
    yes, more than the night watch waits for morning!
(Psalm 130:5-6, CEB)

We need God more than we need our next breath. And if we have God within us, we are invincible. By Loving forces we will be soothed, filled with grace, and lead home to God.

Gracious God,
Thank you for the saints gone before us.
Thank you for encouraging us along the way.
Fill us with fresh hope each morning.
Fill us with your powerful grace each and every day.
Strengthen us for your service come what may.
Surround us with Loving forces.
Lead us home to you, Lord.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you feel Loving Forces around you? Do they make you feel “soothed, secure, and filled with grace” as stated in the hymn?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let Loving Forces encourage you on your faith journey!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Image design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday.

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